Wedding gown shopping – oh where to begin.

For starters, as a bride, bride you should aim to look like the absolute best version of yourself on your wedding day, and aside from your beaming smile and bridal glow, your dress will be front and center. We all have different body types (click to see what body type you are), which is why it is so important to begin the wedding dress shopping process by understanding the different gown silhouettes and what body types they work best for. Here’s a quick and easy guide to break down the various wedding gown silhouettes!


The “fairy tale” dress. Fitted bodice and flairs at the waist with a full skirt.

  • Ideal for: most body types, but looks great on pears as it hides the lower body
  • Not good for: petites as the skirt can be overwhelming on a small frame

A-Line: Fitted bodice through the wasit and flows out to the ground, resembling the outline of an uppercase A.

  • Ideal for: all body types

Modified A-Line: Fitted on the bodice and hips and gradually flares to the hem, forming an “A” shape. The skirt of a modified A-line dress fits closer to the body than a traditional A-line.

  • Ideal for: all body types

Trumpet:Fitted through the body and flairs mid thigh.  It is an in between a modified a-line and a mermaid cut.

  • Ideal for: frames with small waists such as the hourglass, banana, and petites
  • Not good for:  pears and apples as it accentuates stomach and hip area

Mermaid: Fitted on the body from the chest to the knee, then flares out close to the knee.

  • Ideal for: slender frames and hourglass body types who are willing to show off their curves.
  • Not good for: apples and plus size body types

Sheath:Narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline to the hem.

  • Ideal for: lean frames such as petites and bananas.  Also good on hourglasses who are willing to show off their curves.
  • Not good for:  Pears. Sheaths will accentuate extra inches and can be unflattering.

Tea-Length:  Skirt falls in between the ankle and the knee.

  • Ideal for all body types

Mini: Skirt falls above the knee.

  • Ideal for: bananas
  • Not good for: plus sizes
For a complete guide to navigating the world of bridal gowns, download our free ibook “Wedding Gowns” on Itunes. From understanding the various silhouettes, necklines and waistlines and how they flatter the body, to shopping and accessorizing, this book is the perfect starting point for a bride looking to create her dream wedding day look.

Sketch credits: Ballgown - Angel Rivera, A-Line - Reem Arca on Wedding Bells Blog, Modified A-Line Pricilla of Boston, Trumpet - Custom Couture, Mermaid - Claire Pettibone on Bridesfinds, Sheath – Orlando Magazine, Tea-Length – Wedding Dresses by Amee, Mini – Annette

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